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About Us


    Welcome to the Havana Journal
Please note that US citizens and businesses are subject to variety of US laws that restrict or prohibit the purchase of most products made in Cuba and other US laws restrict or prohibit travel to Cuba by American citizens. Call and write your Congressperson and Senators if you don't like it.

However, the purchase and sale of most Cuban art is allowed by law in the US as long as the art is not deemed to be "functional". This also applies to informational materials also.

If you have any questions, seek competent legal advice from an attorney who understands OFAC sanctions.

Havana Journal Inc. does not endorse the purchase of Cuban products (except for art and information materials) or unlicensed travel to Cuba by US citizens. More Americans have been allowed to travel to Cuba for more reasons in 2011 and we are trying to keep track of all the legal trips to Cuba.

As for our editorial content, we are anti-Embargo and anti-Castro but we have learned to live with both unfortunately. We work to expose propaganda from extremists whether they be from the right or the left and we will always report abuses of power from either extreme.

INTRODUCTION

What is the Havana Journal?

The Havana Journal is one of the largest private Cuba related website in the world. It is an online media source featuring Cuba business, culture, politics and travel news and information along with Directories, Forums, Marketplace and Photo Gallery. There is a very informative Cigar section, Events Calendar, Castro Watch news feed and Escozul cancer treatment forum. Please have a look at our 2011 Cuba Select Ranking Report on the most popular Cuba websites in the world. We are happy to say that HavanaJournal.com is in the top ten in each category. Also, you can read more about us in the Havana Journal Information section of our Cuba Forum.

We do not post every Cuba related news story. We hand select those that are educational and entertaining. For those articles that appear to be too left or too right politically, we will post a comment at the bottom of the article and always welcome our readers to do the same.

The Havana Journal is an open forum where we encourage everyone from the far left to the far right to post their comments. The Publisher of the Havana Journal is anti-Embargo, regularly calling it the decades old failed "Plan A" Embargo.

The Havana Journal supports the efforts of the Latin America Working Group's effort to lift the US trade and travel Embargo against Cuba and Havana Journal Inc has donated small sums of money to their organization.

The management's views and opinions are not necessarily the views and opinions of its visitors, readers, writers or members.

So, as it says up there in the header: " Read. Discover. Understand." Read the Havana Journal in order to discover Cuba and then one can begin to understand Cuba and all her history, customs, people, natural beauty and potential opportunities. 

This site aims to educate Americans about Cuba and prepare them for a post Castro post Embargo Cuba. Ultimately we hope to help improve US Cuba relations while respecting Cuba's sovereignty and preserving "Cubanidad" which means the essence of being Cuban. 

For more information about contributing to the Havana Journal, please read our Welcome to the Havana Journal post.  Rob Sequin is the publisher of the Havana Journal and President of Havana Journal Inc., a Massachusetts corporation. 

Can you explain the layout of the Havana Journal?

That's a good question. There is a lot of content here so we have broken it down so people can find what they like. First, there are five Sections with links at the top of every page and then Categories within each Section. This is the "blog" area of the site featuring third party news stories, original content by us and independent authors, photos and videos.

SECTIONS

Business Section with Categories: Business In Cuba, Cuba-Canada Trade, Cuba-US Trade and Cuba-World Trade

Culture Section with Categories: Architecture & Housing, Arts & Movies, Cigars & Food, Cuban People, Music & Literature, Science & Health, Sports and Cars. If you have a Cuba related website and want to have a category for your own content here, please read the WRITE FOR THE HAVANA JOURNAL information below then contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Politics Section with Categories: Castro's Cuba, Cuban History, Humanitarian and US Embargo

Travel Section with Categories: Cuba Lodging, Cuba Vacation, Individual Journeys and United States Tourism

Cuban Americans Section with Categories: Cuban Americans, Business, Culture, Politics and Travel

CUBA MARKETPLACE

Then there is the Marketplace featuring retail storefronts and Cuba related merchandise for sale. Contact us if you want to advertise here. 

CUBAN CIGARS

The Cuban Cigars pages feature the most comprehensive fake vs. real Cohiba Esplendido comparisons with dozens of side by side photos. You will also find Cigar domains for sale, cigar related merchandise, Cuban cigar brand pronunciations, a long listing of retail cigar stores, cigar size, shape, color information along with a comprehensive list of Cuban cigar brands and short description. If you want to read Cuban cigar news, visit the Culture Section and find the Cigars & Food category there.

CUBA PHOTO GALLERY

Next over on the navigation bar at the top of every page is the Photo Gallery. Here you'll find original photos of classic American cars in Cuba, rare photos of Cuban cigars in production, an invitation only photo tour of Ernest Hemingway's Finca Vigia estate in Cojimar Cuba, a handful of photos of the Gold medal winning Cuban Olympic baseball pitcher Jose Contreras and our exclusive digital scans of an antique book on the Spanish American War. We will be adding more photos and more categories in the near future. 

SEARCH

Our Search page allows you to search for keywords or phrases in pages, titles and/or entries across the Havana Journal site. 

CUBA FORUM

You will find several categories in our Cuba Forum main page. 

Havana Journal Announcement Board

Cuba Business Forum featuring the following categories:

Business in Cuba Forum 
Business with Cuba Forum
Cuba Business on the Internet Forum
Post Castro and/or post Embargo Cuba Business Forum

Cuba Culture Forum featuring the following categories:

Cuban Cigar & Rum Forum
Cuban Entertainment Forum
Cuba Love Forum
Cuban Life Forum
Escozul Cancer Treatment Forum

Cuba Politics Forum featuring the following categories:

Castro's Cuba Forum
Embargo or Bloqueo Forum
Humanitarian Forum

Cuba Travel Forum featuring the following categories:
Cuba Destinations Forum
Cuba Lodging Forum
Cuba Vacation Forum

Cuban American Forum

CUBA DIRECTORY

The Directories page features long lists of niche websites from our Sections, each with their own categories

  • Business - Investments, Services and Stocks

  • Culture - Art, Culture, Food, History, Music, Photos and Resources

  • Politics - Education, Humanitarian, News Sources and Politics

  • Travel - Agencies,  Casas Particulares and Individual Journeys

  • Cuban Americans - Business, Culture and  Politics

CUBA EVENTS CALENDAR

The Events Calendar is one of our newer features and we are still developing it. This calendar will feature upcoming festivals, fairs, carnivals and other major events in Cuba. It is also the place to find information on historic dates in Cuba. 

CASTRO WATCH

The Castro Watch page is an aggregation of RSS news and blog feeds pulling all stories and articles that mention Fidel Castro or Raul Castro. Still in beta. 

ABOUT US and MEMBER LIST and LOGIN/LOG OUT

You are reading the About Us page now. The Member List allows Havana Journal members to communicate with each other without having to offer their email addresses publicly. Here members can also edit their public profile and see other members' profiles. 

Register as a Member or use this link if you have forgot your password.

If you are logged in, you will see this last link in the navigation bar as Logout. If you are logged out, the link will display Login.

Do you offer RSS feeds?

Yes. Look towards the bottom of any right hand column and you will find RSS Subscription links to the RSS feed along with links to add our content to your AOL, Bloglines, Google, MSN and Yahoo pages. 

How did this whole thing get started?

Historically there has been a lack of information about Cuba in the United States mostly due to the long standing US Embargo against Cuba. This lack of information has led to poor communication, a fractured community and restricted commerce between the United States and Cuba. 

How long has the HavanaJournal.com been online?

The Havana Journal went live on March 3, 2003. It grew out of another business model that was online for a couple years before that. So, HavanaJournal.com has grown every year in visitors, content and members. March 2011 starts our ninth year online.

Was there a Havana Journal before this online version?

Funny you should ask... The original Havana Journal was founded in the 1800's but from Havana New York, not Havana Cuba. Here's the old newspaper header. 

What is the mission statement for the Havana Journal?

To be a diversified resource providing interesting and informative content along with unique products and services to businesses and individuals while respecting the sovereignty of Cuba and the Cubanidad or the "soul" of Cuba and the Cuban people.

HAVANA NETWORK

We are always adding new content to the Havana Journal that will educate and inform all visitors. We are always adding new features to make the site more user friendly so people can find what the information they need.

Our Havana Network consists of 40 Cuba related websites designed to offer a variety of business models, information, products and services for businesses and travelers preparing for a post-Castro post-Embargo Cuba.

One of the sites in our network was used to attack the Roots of Hope by BabaluBlog.com and CapitolHillCubans.com which are both right wing extremists websites run by people who care little about the truth and more about forcing their ideologies on people. I had to write up a defense against this right wing attack in order to allow people to explore the facts rather than to be bullied by these extremists.

We also own over 2500 Cuba related domains that complement our Network and are scheduled for development, used for marketing purposes or are for sale or lease.

MEMBERSHIP

What are the benefits of General membership to the Havana Journal?

REGISTRATION: When you register as member then login using your USER name, you will also have a SCREEN NAME that visitors will see on your posts and comments. You can register as a Member at the site or in our Cuba Forum. Either way, Members enjoy a profile page with links to their own and favorite sites along with the ability to have a signature at the bottom of every comment. 

PERIODIC UPDATES: Members will receive occasional emails from us featuring breaking news alerts, upcoming events, Havana Journal developments and other interesting Cuba-related information. We only send out these updates periodically so they are not a bother to our Members. Your email is never used for any other purpose and you can easily opt out from Your Control Panel in the Members link at the top of every page. Also, there is an Unsubscribe link are in every email.

POSTING COMMENTS: Although you do not have to be a member to leave comments on articles, members can choose to stay logged in so the comments box will always be open and ready for your comments. Logged out members and non-members will have to provide an email before leaving a comment. So, the site is designed to be member friendly and since there is not cost or obligation of membership, we make it easy for you to register as a member. You will need to be registered and logged in to see the "Reply" button in the Cuba Forum.

WRITE FOR THE HAVANA JOURNAL: If you want to post original content, third party articles or even your own press releases to the main site or Cuba Forum, you will have to register as a member then login using your user name. We only ask for your email address so we can send you the opt in activation link. You pick the user name and screen name you want. We do not require your name or any other information at this time. We never share your information with anyone.

MEMBER TO MEMBER COMMUNICATION: Members can contact authors of articles and comments through our email interface but agree to abide by our Privacy Policy. Email addresses are protected until and unless the Member receiving the email chooses to reply directly to the Member sending the email. This is a similar type of Member to Member communication system that eBay uses. 

NOT AN ENDORSEMENT: Your membership DOES NOT mean that you endorse or support any political group or ideology. It DOES NOT mean you support any views expressed at the Havana Journal. It DOES NOT mean you are a closet communist or have secret plans to travel to Cuba in violation of the US Embargo :-) Membership simply allows anyone to get the most Cuba related information that the Havana Journal provides.

ABOUT US

MANAGEMENT

Rob Sequin | Publisher & Founder

Rob has been an Internet entrepreneur since 1997. He became interested in Cuba in 1998 around the time of Pope John Paul's visit to the island. Reading all the Cuba guidebooks, talking with others who shared his interest in Cuba, living on Cape Cod (an international tourist destination) and living in (former) Congressman Bill Delahunt's district in Massachusetts motivated him to develop the Havana Journal. 

He is not Hispanic and has no family ties to Cuba so he is in an objective position to develop and maintain an unbiased media network of Cuba related information and services.

OUR LOCATION

We are based on Cape Cod in Massachusetts which is located in former Congressman William Delahunt’s 10th Congressional District. Congressman Delahunt is an internationally respected former Congressman in the US House of Representatives and was very active in the US Cuba policy arena.

By having our headquarters on Cape Cod, we understand the business of international tourism and business opportunities that will emerge in a post-Castro post-Embargo Cuba.

WRITE FOR THE HAVANA JOURNAL

How do I Write for the Havana Journal?

1. Go to the Section for which you want to write an article.

2. Look in the top right hand corner and click on the Add Your Own Entry link under the "Write Here" heading.

3. You will need to register/log in before you can write. You may want to write your article beforehand then paste in the text.

4. Enter a title, choose a category and write or paste your content in the text box. Note: If you want to add a link to an article or comment, use this format <a href="http://DOMAINURL.COM">DOMAINURL.COM</a> and simply replace DOMAINURL.COM with the link and text you want posted in the text of your article.

5. Preview your entry then Submit.

6. Repeat as often as you like.

Really. It's that simple. Within minutes from right now, you can be submitting your first article to the Havana Journal. If you can send email, you can write for the Havana Journal. The user interface is web based and there is no software to download. 

You don't need to be approved to submit an article but we do ask that you review our Writer Guidelines below. 

We review all articles before they go live but do not edit any articles. We receive an email when a new comment is posted and we review each one. We don't edit them either but we will delete comment spam and hate speech. All comment spammers have their IP addresses banned and reported to spam authorities. 

Regarding comments: You do not need to register or login to post comments to news articles but you do need to provide an email address to prevent comment spam. You will need to be logged in to see and use the Reply button in the Cuba Forum.

Read more about posting guidelines in our Welcome to the Havana Journal post.

What if I don't agree with other writers or don't want to be associated with the management's political views?

We want to make it very clear that all writers are independent and are 100% able to speak their mind and post their own comments if they wish. Writing for the Havana Journal or having your own Website Owner Category does not in any way imply any endorsement of any content posted by any writer or the management. The Havana Journal is an open forum for anyone from Fidel Castro to George Bush to post any comment they wish so long as it is on topic.

What is a Website Owner Category or WOC.

We recently developed this feature to allow Cuba related website owners to post their own original content directly to their own category at the Havana Journal. Currently this feature is by invitation only but feel free to contact us .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to ask for an invitation. 

These new categories will feature niche content provided by experts in their areas of interest. 

I wrote an article for another source. Can I publish it here?

If you wrote an article for another web site or publication, you certainly have our permission to re-publish it here as long as there is no objection from the other party. Be sure to give them credit for the content if you are linking to them.

If I write something for the Havana Journal, can I use it elsewhere?

Yes. We do not require exclusive rights. We do ask that you refer to the Havana Journal or just simply link to your article at the Havana Journal.

Someone just left a comment to my article that I posted and I don't like it. What can I do?

First, we ask that you make your best psychological attempt to accept it. We have a diverse community and this site is all about freedom of speech and people saying what's on their mind.

Be tolerant and don't get into a heated comment posting/reposting war. Stay focused on your message and content.

If you just can't get move on, you can do a couple things:

1. Post your own comment and address the issues or elaborate on your point.

2. Contact us and we will review the comment. We do not edit comments but will delete one if it is vulgar, derogatory, defamatory, inappropriate, libelous or off topic.

Why should I write for the Havana Journal?

1. Our content management solution is web-based so you simply login, type or paste in the text of your article, choose a Section and Category then submit it. Your article or forum topic is published immediately. It's a good way to build a following.

2. Free advertising for your site: Go ahead and link to your site or other site for more information so long as it's Cuba related. 

3. The Havana Journal is available in six languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Chinese). That means that your content is available in six languages. Also, when someone clicks on your web address (if you posted one) YOUR site is converted to the language of the reader. How about that trick? We translate your site for you!

4. If you have ever wanted to write a "Letter to the Editor"? This is your chance. Say what you want to say. We listen. 

What kind of content can be published in the Havana Journal Sections?

  • Facts

  • Photos

  • Cartoons

  • Opinions

  • News articles

  • Animated gifs

  • Research reports

  • Personal Experiences

  • Special Interest articles

  • Self Promotional articles

  • Tips and Recommendations

  • Articles about historic events

  • Articles about individual journeys

In no particular order...we are looking for any content regarding Cuba that you feel readers would enjoy. Feel free to post older content if it still has value.

We really don't have any restrictions about legitimate, Cuba-related content. Speak your mind. Tell us about your business ideas, cultural and travel experiences, political opinions...whatever.

We also welcome visitors to send their Event dates so we can add them to the Events Section. 

Do I have to be Pro-Embargo, Anti-Embargo or a United States citizen to be a writer?

Please! NO! We want EVERYONE to contribute and benefit from the content and community at the Havana Journal.

Can I use an alias to post articles, topics or comments?

Yes. We do not require your name, address or phone number in our registration form.

Send us news tips

Havana Journal accepts Cuba news, press releases, events, travel tips and other submissions via email. Read more about your ability to post Cuba information here.

WRITER GUIDELINES

Writing Tips

Preview your article before posting it. Make sure the text and formatting is easy to read.

Try to "boil down" the story. Readers may not be as passionate as you are about the article and might just want the meat. If your article is very long, consider breaking it into two parts.

Write regularly, even several times a day if you like. You will develop a following. The more you publish, the more you advertise to our your web address to Havana Journal readers. We encourage you to publish articles in different Sections and Categories.

You may want to include a "signature" at the end of your articles like words of wisdom, your web site's mission statement, your contact info, interests, etc. Be creative.

If you are writing a follow up article to one you previously posted, find the previous article, copy and paste the URL into the current story so readers can refer to the first article.

Be proud of your content that has been published in the Havana Journal. Grab the URL of the page you have just published to and link to it from your own web site. Also, use the Tell-A-Friend to show it to friends, family and associates.

If you are posting third party content, please acknowledge the original author and source.

Got something to say? This is the place where others listen to you! You write. We listen

FORUMS

What's the difference between the Forums and the News sections?

The Forums are designed to be more informal and more interactive.

What kind of content can be posted in the Forums?

  • For Sale Ads (I am selling ...)

  • Wanted Ads (I am looking for ...)

  • Questions (Does anyone know a good place in Cuba to ...?)

  • Requests (Does anyone share my interests to play drums in Havana?)

  • Recommendations (We drove to Santiago de Cuba and we recommend ...)

PRIVACY POLICY AND TERMS OF SERVICE

  • We will never ask you for your password or credit card information. 

  • We will not sell or rent your email address to third parties. 

  • We will not deny writer access to any individual, business or organization because of geographical location, business model, religious belief, political views, etc. All are welcome to visit and participate. We encourage freedom of speech, freedom of association, creativity, diversity and the general pursuit of happiness so long as it does not harm others.

  • We send out occasional Breaking News alerts and Havana Journal updates to our community in the event of a major news story regarding Cuba. 

  • We reserve the right to suspend, restrict or even ban the a visitor's IP address who is intentionally and repeatedly disruptive to our community.

  • We reserve the right to delete vulgar, derogatory, defamatory, inappropriate, libelous or off topic content.

  • Everything posted to the Havana Journal is indexed by the search engines EXCEPT for personal information entered by our visitors and members into fields like name, email and membership registration. However, if you post your personal information like name, address, email address etc in a Comment box under and Article, Forum or post an Article with personal information, it will be indexed by the search engines and any personal information that you publicly posted, may be viewable by the general public. If you ever have any concerns, don't hesitate to contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and we remove the content from the site which should eventually cause the search engines to delete the information. 

TERMS OF SERVICE

All entries posted at the Havana Journal are the views and property of the author. By registering as a member, you agree not to post any entries that are slanderous, misleading or obviously unrelated to Cuba or its culture. We do not edit any user-generated content but reserve the right to remove entries and/or ban any members who violate these terms after the Member is warned.

GLOSSARY

Article: A news story, individual travel experience or recommendation, opinion, press release, research report etc. posted to one of our Sections.

Blog: An online journal with entries listed chronologically. Blog content is provided by the individuals maintaining the site and/or the community that visits it.

The term blog is short for web log, a blog is an individual or topic-specific online journal featuring content (text, pictures, video and/or audio files) that is organized by chronological order of entry.

Blogs are Individual or Collective. An Individual blog contains content provided by the owner of the site. A Collective blog allows all users/members/subscribers to provide content. The Havana Journal is a collective blog.

Categories: Every Section has Categories that allow the writer to post content where most appropriate. Also, visitors can sort articles by category to read just the content that interests them.

Comments: Every visitor can leave a comment to any article posted in any Section. You do not need to be a Member to post comments but we do require a name and email address to prevent comment spam. We never give out or sell your information. 

Directories: Each Section contains a Directory featuring links to related web sites. 

Fixed Pages: The Marketplace, Cigar pages and this About Us page. 

Forums: As described above, Forums are different from Sections. Forums are a little less formal and designed to be more conversational than the news and information Sections. 

Members: Higher up on this page you will see the description and benefits that members enjoy. No one has to be a Havana Journal Member to read or post comments but Members do get our Newsletter and can write their own articles and have them publisher here.

Original Content: Provided by our visitors exclusively for the Havana Journal. Original content can be text, pictures, video or audio.

Post and publish: A common term in the blog world. Also known as "blogging". Simply login, post and publish.

Sections: Business, Culture, Politics, Travel and Hispanics are considered Havana Journal Sections.

Syndication and XML / RSS: Other websites pick up our content feed that is syndicated over the Internet. Your content is distributed far beyond the Havana Journal.

Third Party news: An article that is a news story or content that has been created by professional news organizations. AP and Reuters are third party news sources.

ADVERTISE HERE

Advertise across our Havana Network. Get more information here.

See where HavanaJournal.com is listed in relation to other popular Cuba related websites in the 2011 Cuba Select Rankings.

When you see this logo, you have found a Cuba Chamber of Commerce member.

Cuba Chamber of Commerce Member

CONTACT US

info @ havanajournal.com

Havana Journal, Inc.

Rob Sequin, Publisher

PO Box 1525

South Dennis, MA

02660

508 744 6790

Thank you for reading the Havana Journal.

No you can Read. Discover. Understand.

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